From Jim Plyler, a partner at commercial real estate firm Piedmont Properties in Charlotte, in response to “Can CEOs ride to Eastland’s rescue?” (Dec. 10 editorial):
Today’s CEOs know a white elephant when they see one. You suggest the city needs help and doesn’t have the expertise to tackle such a big problem like Eastland Mall.
When I was a student at UNC Charlotte when Eastland opened in the ’70s, the area surrounding the mall was in a growth mode. I worked part time at the mall and it was a busy place. Being in commercial real estate for 30 years since graduation from UNCC I have witnessed the area’s gradual downfall.
In real estate it is all about location, location, location. One thing you cannot change is the location. Why city leaders voted to purchase Eastland in the first place is beyond my comprehension.
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Instead of placing government services on the property, they bought land across the street for a new fire station.
The city bailed out the investors and took the property off of the tax rolls. It was not a good investment. If it had left it in the hands of the investors, they would have figured it out and found a way to make it work. Now the city leaders, who are not real estate investors, cannot figure it out. Your opinion that they need to do something is about as smart as the city buying the property in the first place. The movers and shakers around town know the area is not something in which they want to put their efforts.
The city needs to cut its losses and sell the property, put it back on the tax rolls and move on.